Updated: Jan 24, 2020
Notaries are expected to uphold the Oath for whatever State you currently reside. We should always have a good character of judgment and also, just like a Mediator, we are to remain impartial and most importantly, remain professional at all times! But what do when you are ask to pretty much break the law?
I am sure by now, you may have experienced some or all of the unlawful asked questions by clients. Like.....
"I forgot my ID, can you Notarize without it?"
"I don't have my ID on me, but I have a picture of it, can your Notarize without it?"
"I don't have any witnesses to complete the Power of Attorney, can you Notarize anyway?"
Understand and be aware that people that ask those type of questions, will become angry with you for not breaking the law or your State's oath. And that's okay too! You have the right to refuse service at anytime during a notarial signing. There is a such thing as a Notary Refusal. When you refuse to Notarize a document, you should do so in a professional and in an educated manner. You should always be prepared to explain to the signer that you are being held to uphold the Oath of your State, and you also do not wish putting your Notary license in jeopardy.
When you initially book your signing, you should always speak with the client/litigant ahead of time, whether it be by text, email or phone; you have to address the important information so you are prepared and organized to handle the signing as professional and knowledgeable as possible. Here are some simple questions to ask when heading out to that signing:
To sum it up, always use your best judgment, and do not feel obligated to do something you really are not comfortable with. For the State of Florida, we are required to refuse immediately under certain circumstances, and therefore, every notary should have a thorough understanding of the notary laws for their State and I cannot express this enough, but you should ALWAYS exercise good judgment when making decisions about whether to notarize a document or not. And if you are asked to break the law....RUN!
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